Why Wild Mouse Closing Is A Huge Deal

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Guys, I'm gutted. It's times like these you realise how much rides and theme parks mean to you, because this afternoon when the below picture graced my social media feed it felt like a punch to the gut. And whilst nothing official has been confirmed by the park just yet*, I think it's safe to say that 2017 the legendary Wild Mouse coaster's last operating season at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. And I am so, so bummed out that I didn't make a point of riding it when we visited last summer (ironically, the queue was too long!)

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Another classic gone
I know they're not exactly on the same scale, but in recent years we've lost Bubbleworks and The Flume, and now Wild Mouse. And yh, I know, Wild Mouse was a lot, lot old and an entirely different ride from the other two, but it's still to me another one of those classic, all-round loved attractions that have had to leave for one reason or another. It's almost like the harsh realities of growing up, your old favourites aren't going to be around forever so make the most of them whilst you still can!

Blackpool have lost an icon (no pun intended)
Ironic, some might say, that in a year the park intend to open their Icon coaster they've demolished another who had spent close to 60 years building up that reputation for itself. And the Wild Mouse's reputation really did precede itself - I remember being a kid and my dad telling me all about this CRAZY ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, where it felt like you were going to tip off of the track at any given moment and the fear of death was 100% real - more real than on any other ride he'd ever been on in fact.

H&S is changing
Again, to reiterate, nothing has been confirmed but I would hazard a guess that this has all stemmed from some unresolvable H&S issues. But I guess that was always what made Wild Mouse an icon and so enjoyable a ride - I think it was that raw adrenaline. The fun came from knowingly boarding this thing that really did look like a harsh gust of wind would have it collapse in a heap. I always loved looking up the lift-hill ahead of me and admiring its wonkiness, questioning why I was foolish enough to board the thing in the first place. Of course, the ride was safe to operate, but the appearance and the way it rode did always have me gripping for the (non-existant) safety bar!

It was still popular
Like I said, back in August 2017 we didn't actually get around to riding Wild Mouse because the queue was so bloody long. And it's always been that way, every single time I've visited. I don't think I've ever queued less than 20 minutes for it. Sure, it's low capacity, but it's also a testament to how popular the ride still was. I think that's partly why it hurts so much, there was still such an active adoration for the attraction, not with something like The Flume which was hardly beloved and pretty much become part of the furniture. It was the kind of ride you'd ride, not believe, then go home and tell all of your friends about because it was so mental.

It's a shock
I'm pretty sure none of us, except maybe those more in the know with what goes on behind the scenes of the Pleasure Beach, saw this coming. What with all of the points that have been made above, combined with the fact that the Pleasure Beach have always maintained a pretty good relationship with enthusiasts, it seems really to have come out of the blue and therefore knocked us all sideways that little bit extra. It seems odd to me that the park have made no comment on it given that arranging for the demolition of a ride isn't exactly something that can be done at the drop of a hat, but I'm sure the park have their reasons and I'm keen to hear what they have to say on the matter.

Until then, I'm just going to mourn and have a little cry to myself over the idea of never being able to ride such a wild, iconic coaster in the UK again. RIP Wild Mouse.

*Update - the ECC have received the below official statement from the park. RIP Wild Mouse :(

"After very careful consideration and planning, our current winter work programme has seen the permanent closure and dismantling of the Wild Mouse and the removal of the facade of the former Trauma Tower attractions. This will create an area for future exciting developments.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach is a constantly evolving amusement park and has been for the past 122 years. The changes it has seen over the years are what has made it the great park it is today. This, coupled with a relatively small amount of space, means that in order to progress and look to the future we occasionally need to alter the landscape of the park to make way for future developments."

Talk later xoxo,

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